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Welcome To Berkeley Math Circle
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The Berkeley Math Circle (BMC) is a weekly program for over 500 San Francisco Bay Area elementary, middle and high school students. The weekly sessions are held on Tuesdays evenings at the UC Berkeley campus. The program is jointly sponsored by the:
  • UC Berkeley Mathematics Department
  • UC Berkeley Statistics Department
  • UC Berkeley Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) Department
  • Mathematical Science and Research Institute (MSRI)
  • Simons Institute for Theory of Computing
  • Vanguard Charitable, and
  • Parents' Contribution
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Emulating famous Eastern European models, the program aims at drawing kids to mathematics, preparing them for mathematical contests, introducing them to the wonders of beautiful mathematical theories, and encouraging them to undertake future careers linked with mathematics, whether as mathematicians, mathematics educators, economists, or business entrepeneurs. Read more about the BMC.
 

Math Taught the Right Way

A new Thursday program through the Berkeley Math Circle

(Please, note that the regular Berkeley Math Circle will continue on Tuesdays and enrollment for it is closed for fall 2016.)

The Thursday "Math Taught the Right Way" program will be based on the newly translated and adapted Bulgarian middle school textbooks, which were just used during the BMC summer 2016 program, and which were piloted at Tehiyah Day School in El Cerrito for 6th grade this past year, and will be continued for 6th and 7th grades in the upcoming academic year.

The application form for the Thursday Fall Program is on-line here:

Thursday Fall Program Application

When you fill the form, do NOT rush: make sure you fill it correctly. We got quite some messily filled forms for BMC Fall 2016 in April, including confusion between student and parent names. Thus, please, take your time while filling the forms. If you are unsure for which group to sign, do not worry: we will place the students in the corresponding groups.

  • Start of Thursday Fall 2016 Program: September 1, 2016
  • End of Thursday Fall 2016 Program: December 8, 2016 (if an additional final exam date will be set, it will be announced at the start of the program)
  • Structure and Curriculum of the Program "Math Taught the Right Way"
    • 6A group: 5pm-8pm
      • 5:10pm-6:00pm: Algebra with Elysee Wilson-Egolf (from 6A textbook)
      • 6:10pm-7:00pm: Geometry with Natalya St. Clair (from 6A textbook)
      • 7:10pm-8:00pm: Problem Solving/Number Theory with Elysee Wilson-Egolf (partially from 6A textbook, partially from PS handouts for Beginners in the summer)
        • This group is intended for students who are:
          • Entering 6th grade in fall 2016 and who did NOT participate in the BMC summer program 2016.
          • Exceptional cases of advanced 5th graders in fall 2016 will be considered, as well of motivated 7th graders in fall 2016 who are interested in improving their mathematical maturity and foundation in writing coherent and complete mathematical solutions will also be considered.
    • 6B group: 5pm-8pm
      • 5:10pm-6:00pm: Problem Solving/Number Theory with Petra Munih (this will be a combined 6B/7A class)
      • 6:10pm-7:00pm: Algebra with Elysee Wilson-Egolf (from 6B textbook)
      • 7pm-7:50pm: Geometry, taught by Natalya St. Clair (from 6B/7A textbook)
        • This group is intended for students who are
          • entering 6th grade in fall 2016 AND who DID participate in the BMC-Beginners summer program 2016, or
          • entering 6th grade in fall 2016 AND who have participated in BMC in 2015-2016.
          • Exceptional cases of advanced 5th and 6th graders will be considered, as well as motivated 7th graders who are interested in improving their mathematical maturity and foundation in writing coherent and complete mathematical solutions.
    • 7A group: 6pm-8pm
      • 5:10pm-6:00pm: (optional) Problem Solving with Zvezda in 6B group
      • 6:10pm-7:00pm: Geometry with Norm Prokup (3d Geometry, 7A textbook)
      • 7:10pm-8:00pm: Algebra with Kelli Talaska (7A textbook)
        • This group is intended for students who are entering 7th grade in fall 2016. If a student participated in BMC -Intermediate I Summer Program 2016, be aware that about half of the geometry material will be the same as that covered in the summer program, but the remainder will be different. We will allow such students to attend 8A concurrent class while we cover this introductory Geometry material.
        • Exceptional cases of advanced 6th graders will be considered, as well as motivated 8th graders who are interested in improving their mathematical maturity and foundation in writing coherent and complete mathematical solutions.
    • 8A group: 6pm-8pm
      • 6:10pm-7:00pm: Problem Solving/Proofs with Zvezdelina Stankova (Induction, Proofs BMC book, volume I)
      • 67:10pm-8:00pm: Geometry with Norm Prokup (Vector Geometry 8A textbook + Circle Geometry BMC book, volume I)
        • This group is intended for students who are entering 8th grade in fall 2016. If a student participated in BMC -Intermediate II Summer Program 2016, be aware that about 2/3 of the geometry material will be the same as that covered in the summer program, but the remainder will be different. We will allow such students to attend 7A concurrent class while we cover this part of the Geometry material.
        • Exceptional cases of advanced 7th graders will be considered, as well as motivated 9th graders who are interested in improving their mathematical maturity and foundation in writing coherent and complete mathematical solutions.
  • Instructors for the fall "Math Taught the Right Way":
    • Elysee Wilson-Egolf: BA in Mathematics UC Berkeley, CEED Teacher in Oakland, instructor at BMC Summer Program 2016 and BMC 2016-2017.
      • Teaching: 6A Algebra, 6A Problem Solving, 6B Algebra
    • Natalia St. Clair: BAs in Mathematics and Studio Art Scripps College, MA Harvard Graduate School of Education, first pilot teacher of Bulgarian Math Program Fall 2016 Tehiyah Day School, El Cerrito, co-author of world-popular series of Mental Math books with Dr. Arthur Benjamin from Harvey Mudd College.
      • Teaching: 6A Geometry and 6B Geometry
    • Petra Munih: PhD Biophysics/Structural Biology, Brandeis/Harvard, BMC instructor 2015-2017, BMC Summer Program 2016 instructor
      • Teaching: 6B/7A Combined Problem Solving
    • Kelli Talaska: PhD Mathematics, faculty at UCB, Octopus Math, BMC 2015-2017 instructor
      • Teaching: 7A Algebra
    • Norm Prokup: Ph.D Mathematics, faculty at College-Preparatory School, BMC instructor 2015-2016, BMC Summer Program 2015 instructor
      • Teaching: 7A and 8A Geometry
    • Zvezdelina Stankova: Ph.D. Mathematics, Professor UC Berkeley, BMC Founder and Director
      • Teaching: 8A Problem Solving and Proofs

Please, refrain from sending non-emergency emails. We are away until the end of July, and hence we cannot respond to emails until then.

We will sort out and finalize the enrollment for "Math Taught the Right Way" at the end of July when our staff returns from vacation. Enrollment will be on a first-come-first-serve basis for qualifying students.

Information about (Tuesday's) Berkeley Math Circle and (Thursday's) "Math Taught the Right Way" will be send around mid-August to enrolled students.

Application to BMC-Upper Fall 2016-2017 is now closed!

All spots for BMC-Upper Fall 2016 are full. We will not be accepting any more applications for the fall. Please check back in November for the BMC Spring 2017 Application.

Application to Berkeley Math Circle Summer Program 2016

Dates: June 20th-July 1st, 2016

  • Time: 9am-12 noon
  • Place: UC Berkeley Campus (rooms TBA)
  • Early bird fee: $380 if submitted by March 15th
  • Regular Fee: $400 if submitted on March 16th or after

    Here is the updated (As of March 1st) Application: Application Form for Summer 2016 Program. Here is the schedule for the Summer Sessions: Schedule.


News

BMC Student Laura Pierson USAJMO Winner!

Circler Laura Pierson won the USAJMO in 2015! Laura, then in 10th grade, scored among the top 12 of all USAJMO test takers. Previously, Laura Pierson won a silver medal at the European Girls' Mathematical Olympiad (EGMO). The 2013 EGMO was held at Luxembourg city, where 87 participants from 22 countries participated. A 7th grader at the time, Laura was the youngest member of the USA team. Congratulations!

Laura also actively participates and helps out with the Berkeley Math Circle. Laura gave her first lecture to the Advanced group on September 22, 2015 on the topic “Incompleteness and Provability.” Additionally, Laura is a local grader and one of the coordinators for the BMC Monthly Contests. Thank you Laura!


BMC Alumnus Evan Chen is a gold medalist at the International Math Olympiad!

Update: Evan won a gold medal in the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) over the summer of 2014! He represented the Taiwanese team (which came in 3rd). Evan actually came in second at the USAMO earlier that year, the final round of the USA Olympiad. Evan finished his freshman year of college at Harvard and is now starting his sophomore year at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Evan will be in contact with the BMC through his Monthly Contest problems. Congratulations and good luck in college, Evan!

Berkeley Math Circle student Evan Chen, also the coordinator for the Monthly Contest at BMC for the past three years, solved all six problems at USAMO (the last round of the USA Math Olympiad). He was placed #2 in the USA with 41 points and was among the top 3 winners awarded with Akami Foundation Scholarship! Even more astonishingly, he qualified at the same time on the Taiwanese team and participated in the International Mathematical Olympiad this summer in Cape Town, South Africa, from July 3-13 , 2014.

Evan Chen graduated from lrvington High School in Fremont, CA, this year and will attend Harvard College in the fall. Evan earned a Gold medal in the 2013 Asian-Pacific Math Olympiad, and will be participating on the Taiwan team at the 2014 lnternational Mathematical Olympiad (lMO). He enjoys programming, typesetting documents in LaTeX, and playing StarCraft on the nights before major contests. Evan applies his skill as a competitor in mathematical competitions to writing mathematical problems. Evan thanks his teachers, Miss Chiu and Mrs. Rothfuss, for their continual support and Dr. Zvezda Stankova, of the Berkeley Math Circle, for her invaluable mentorship. lt is noteworthy that Evan took this USA Mathematical Olympiad (USAMO) in Taiwan from 12:30 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. while in Taiwan.


Espen writes a poem!

BMC student Espen has written a beautiful poem called "My True Number". We wanted to share as it is quite appropriate for the Berkeley Math Circle! Please do not take out the poem without copyright.

My True Number
By Espen Slettnes, Jan 6th, 2014

My shadow and I stood in a complex plane.
"What value are you?" I winked and asked.
"3435i", said he, and he asked me mine.
I said I was 33+44+33+55.
"That's what I am, but times i"he replied.
Our eyes met and danced
as we added and multiplied and exponentiated and tertiated
until we reached the magnitude of beauty,
in the silence of ∞, where I saw my true self.
I spoke no words but the simple language of the universe.
I rose and vaporized into numbers,
integrated with the Universe,
and we became 1.

Footnotes:

  • The complex plane is a way to represent all complex numbers in 2 dimensions. A complex number is made up of a real and imaginary part.
  • i is the imaginary unit, defined as √ -1 
  • Tertiation is repeated exponentiation, which is repeated multiplication, which is repeated addition.
  • ∞ means infinity - larger than any number
  • (33+44+33+55) = 3435 (each digit raised to its own power)

Copyright © 2014 Espen Slettnes. All rights reserved.


Berkeley Math Circle featured on "The Monthly"!

The Berkeley Math Circle has been featured "The Monthly," East Bay's Premier Magazine of Culture and Commerce, titled "Proving Their Passion" by Sarah Weld. Check out the Berkeley Math Circle on the news here!


Nico Brown of the Berkeley Math Circle wins first place at the Berkeley Mini-Math Tournament!

Nico Brown wins 1st place at BmMT 2013.         Nico Brown and Vincent Pisani at BmMT 2013.

BMC's own Nico Brown won the Berkeley mini Math Tournament (BmMT), the middle school student variant to the BMT for high school students, this past weekend.

Nico's score in the Individual round placed him into the top six students who entered the final Countdown elimination round, a series of timed questions... and he emerged the overall champion!

He wouldn't have got there without Team BMC coached by Intermediate Circle parent Tor Slettnes--Vincent Pisani, Arav Karighattam, Nate Fish, Espen Slettnes, and Nico--so congratulations to all!


   
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